The fetishisation of coffee

I'll be honest from the get-go here: I am not a coffee drinker. I've tried a lot of it and it just doesn't work for me, personally and by no means do I have any issue with it. But something I've noticed in the last couple of years is the rise of some pretentious, barista coffee fetish take over; where overpriced coffee shops continuously abuse the term "artisan" and virtually any Italian word they can get there hands on. It's no longer about just enjoying a decent drink, it's become some kind of quest to find real coffee, which has to be made from beans grown on the slopes of the Himalayan mountains, to be picked at exactly 14:36 on an autumn Wednesday by some near extinct species of mountain parrot to then be served in ideally the most obscure coffee shop in town so it forces people to ask you about it.
I really don't care that much, but I do find it annoying and off putting that so many people seem to have fallen for this coffee cult rubbish. I know it's inconsequential, but a rant every now and then is always fun.


This is hilarious.

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welcome to marketing 101 if you can create false scarcity or exoticism you get to charge more for your product and build a distinct brand all in one go. So killing 2 birds with one stone.

I am not a massive coffee drinker its mainly motivation juice at the office but being a beer snob I see this in the beer world also its just a way to make your brand stand out when you have nothing to stand out with.


Pretty much this, replace what you said with pretty much anything. Hell, the same thing happens with beer.


Marketing aside, consumers are just as bad no? I seem to remember a time when not everyone was obsessed with coffee, it's grip on public consciousness seems to have grown in unison with the cult of Doge. Listening to people exclaim their love or need of coffee is now as common as British people awkwardly discussing the weather.

Coffee is small talk? Coffee has become a meme?

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eh its a bit pretentious but if it makes people feel unique or special then i spose its alright. apart from when people think they're too special for drinking fancy coffee haha

One of those birds you're killing better not be that endangered parrot.


but that parrot is an asshole and i think it was dead and nailed to its perch.

I prefer iced coffee grown in Antarctica and picked by polar bears so its infused with that iced coffee taste



come on now we all know that the the Volcano coffee eaten and pooped out by fire elementals is the best, its pre-roasted and everything :)

No way when I want hot coffee I prefer that it be grown at the base of the great pyramid by traditional Egyptian slaves 10,000 years ago and that it receive a blessing from King tut before being locked away for millenia to be sold in the 21st century

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i like it when the beans have been ground between the ass cheeks of an amazonian tribal cheif

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that's a little too Earthy for my taste but to each his own.


Glad someone said it. Gas station coffee will still give you a caffeine buzz. Dip coffee is just fine, few people have time to spend 30 minutes using a French press.

Diminishing returns is just way too high for money and time when it comes to coffee.

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Very interesting topic, I shall chip-in to your fun rant with a story. ^_^

I love coffee myself thanks to my dad, and it was last year that I suddenly realized it became a very relaxing and special part of my daily routine. So naturally, I began a quest to search for and try all sorts of coffee and ways of making it taste better. Now… I live in Puerto Rico, and suddenly there has been a propaganda here for supporting our local coffee agriculture so I thought it was a good place to start. I must tell you, that so far they have all pretty much tasted the same to me. Some more bitter or stronger than others, but if I don't add sugar and creamer I still cannot drink them at all.

This reminded me heavily of my fellow wine-loving co-workers, when we went to a conference in San Francisco. During our free time we decided to all visit the Vineyards of Napa Valley and have some wine tasting pretty much everywhere. I do not drink alcoholic beverages, but I thought 'no harm in trying these', so I did. The result was pretty much the same, they all tasted the same to me, some more bitter or stronger (more alcoholic) but nonetheless the same. Meanwhile my co-workers were like 'ah, this one is some fiiine wine', or 'ah I love the texture of this'.

Interesting eh? So I think that yes, it's marketing, and it works because a lot of people like to jump on bandwagons, and they also like to act like connoisseurs just to feel important. So I get and share your feelings of annoyance, especially since I have noticed the fetishization in social media.

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There are pretentious people in every realm of interest. On this forum even, there are hundreds of people who use the frighteningly-nazi-esque commentary of PC Master Race, entirely unironically.

Starbucks worked hard to make coffee a luxury item, and as a result the only way for many years to compete was to appeal to the same customers. Upper middle class bougie types. Fortunately the new coffee community that flourished from that used its money in a way starbucks never did which is to say, to send more money back to origin, and diminish the still massive role of slavery in the coffee industry.

This new coffee community has many subcultures: those who assume that what they do is best for no reason, and those who've decided to look into the actual science of coffee and find areas to seek improvement. I'm talking about James Hoffman, Matt Perger, Maxwell Collona-Dashwood, George Howell, Tim Wendelboe, the folks at Pilot Coffee, Phil and Sebastien. These are people who are passionate about what they do. That doesn't make them pretentious any more than it makes us pretentious for thinking a well built PC for $1000 is better than a store bought for the same price.

I'm sorry if you've had bad experiences in the coffee world. There is a lot of snobbery. But also don't delude yourself. We spent the last century in america drinking poorly produced coffee, grown by slaves, roasted by people who don't give a fuck, for profit, and sold already ground and already stale. The value per dollar is so high now, it's crazy. And even if you were to pay $20 a bag, that's still under $0.75 a cup if you brew at home.

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Even here in Italy shits are going a bit crazy on the social networks because Starbucks is going to get here and, as some idiots say, will ruin all the bar making the espresso and whatnot. People bitching and arguing on stupid things. We have Mac Donalds and Burger King even here but pubs are still full of people eating grilled meat and drinking beers. All of this to say that some people just want to show off who they are and what they do, that's it.

If you need some italian words to show off to your friends and impress them just message me hahaha

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there has always been good and bad coffee we have not really changed anything with the science of brewing group. You are right there is always a niche who appreciates or notices certain things but it does not change that when large companies or your local coffee shop starts using those terms to market themselves that its mainly just marketing wank to make themselves look different and try and charge more.

just look at the Starbucks pods vs Keurig vs Nespresso devices out there they all claim different things even though they all work about the same.

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I drink a lot of coffee and have been getting into wine lately.

With coffee, i feel like its almost all technique and a little bit of freshness. Been drinking coffee since middleschool, been drinking it black since highschool, i'm turning 29 next month, I never go to starbucks. Starbucks is basically just adding sugar and cream to coffee, and the barista is some low paid, poor technique guy that doesn't give a damn about the finished product. Basically my current technique is Coffee at work Tea at home (after i realized i sometimes drink well over a gallon of coffee i day, i figured i should cut back a little). Because we go through tons of coffee at work so its always fresh, there is a grinder at work and they use thermoses, they don't keep the coffee over heat. So i brew like a gallon of coffee, i drink like half of it and coworkers drink the rest, then i make some more. The only real bad coffee at work is like if someone makes it too weak or too strong or somehow the grinds get into the coffee.

With wine, there is a lot more variation. i think with alcoholic drinks it can take awhile to get accustomed to the flavor of alcohol. After a point you can pretty much tune out the alcohol and solely enjoy the other flavors. I kind of experiance this with scotch, i'm trying to be more familiar with scotch and trying to overcome the strong alcohol taste to savor this particular scotch is difficult. I also could see if you went to different wineries in the same region them tasting mostly the same, as region is a large part of flavor as is type of wine. So having a cabernet from wineries a couple miles apart probably taste fairly similar. Also, sometimes things generally considered as qualities of cheaper wines aren't necessarily bad. Like cheaper wines are often more acidic because they haven't been left on the vine long enough for more sugars to develop, but acidity is important in having a well rounded meal.

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